What makes a Commencement ceremony meaningful for your graduates?

For your graduates, how do you make a commencement ceremony meaningful to them? From our perspective of working in the industry, we’ve narrowed it down to this: “five seconds for me plus everything else.” Let’s break that down.

Five seconds for me: each graduate wants to have five seconds of individual recognition for their accomplishment so that they can celebrate with their friends and family at your commencement ceremony. How can you recognize your graduate? Typically this would entail walking across the commencement stage, receiving a diploma (or diploma substitute), having their name announced, having the graduate’s name projected on the video display, and appearing in the program. Generally speaking, this is enough individual recognition for each graduate to feel your institution is recognizing their achievement.

Everything else: this is the institution-specific ceremony that elevates your commencement ceremony from beyond a simple rollcall of names to an event to be remembered. The “everything else” will vary to reflect the culture and values of your institution

For instance, you might have a formal processional, followed by some speeches, a conferral of degrees, the reading graduate names, the welcome to the alumni society, and some type of closing.

In further blog posts, we will discuss each of these various components in order to help make your commencement ceremony the best it can be!


Want us to help come coach your commencement team with best practices of graduation ceremonies around the country? We are happy to consult with you. Please contact us at “consulting@thegradteam.com.”

The Grad Team specializes in capturing unforgettable moments at graduation ceremonies across the nation. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for excellence, we ensure every graduate walks away with a keepsake they’ll treasure forever.

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